Hello! This is Taylor C. Mitchell coming to you with another review of Smackdown!
We kick off this episode of Smackdown with a highlight video/recap of the feud between Evolution and The Shield. After The Shield in 2014 it is definitive. The Shield is the best stable of the last decade. The Shield will be considered one of the all-time great factions in the history of pro-wrestling. The Shield has become everything the WWE wished Nexus would be and has created a new appreciation within the WWE for tag team wrestling. The Shield could stay together for 1 or 2 more years and will never get old. Their matches are top notch. Individually the three men are amongst the best in the current WWE when it comes to promos.
Furthermore, the Evolution vs. The Shield feud should last months. Ending with a Wargames at Survivor Series.
Michael Cole starts off the show announcing that Dean Ambrose will be defending his United States Championship in a Fatal Fourway Match tonight! It will be Ambrose taking on Ryback, Curtis Axel, and my personal favorite, Alberto Del Rio! Rollins and Reigns are banned from ringside.
The sheep mask appears and Bray Wyatt tells Kansas City that they’re here.
The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt, Erick Rowan, and Luke Harper) vs. The Uso’s (Jimmy and Jey Uso) and Sheamus: We start off with Jey Uso using his speed to get the best of Luke Harper. Sheamus tags in and gets into a stiff war of forearms, punches, and kicks with Harper. A true match of Sheamus taking on Harper would be a treat. Sheamus gets isolated in the Wyatt’s corner and worked over. Sheamus gains the advantage when he turns on CELTIC WARRIOR GOD mode and takes it to Rowan and cross body’s Rowan over the ropes and the two tumble to the outside.
Sheamus is at his absolute best when he is working stiff, rough, and is the CELTIC WARRIOR. He puts it all on the line when he is wrestling this style. He hasn’t really been goofy Sheamus much since he has come back and that’s a good thing.
When we come back from commercial break we see Bray get tagged on for the first time as the Wyatt’s continue to isolate Sheamus in their corner. We get to see some double team moves from Harper and Rowan. It appears these two are finally realizing what it takes to be a two man tag team. It also appears that of the three Wyatt’s, Harper is easily the best when it comes to selling. Rowan kind of has “Tamina Snuka Syndrome”. He is this big dude that sells like a cruiserweight.
We then see a frenzy of action from all six men pulling off their signature moves until Bray catches Jimmy Uso with a sneak attack Sister Abigail for the win. **
After the match Jey Uso dives over the top rope on top of all of the Wyatt family. Sheamus joins the fray until he is thrown into the ring steps. Harper goes into the ring and hits Jimmy Uso with a sick Lariat and the Wyatt family stands tall.
After a commercial break we have Vickie Guerrero hosting the WeeLC contract signing for the El Torito vs. Hornswoggle match at Extreme Rules. Heath Slater gets on the mic and says that their bandmate (does this make them 4MB? Or perhaps if you’re JBL, 3 1/2 MB?) has a few demands before the contract gets signed. Drew McIntyre pulls the demands out of his tights. Heath reads them off “He wants all green mini-M&M’s, 200 copies of 3MB’s Greatest Hits playing while he is training. 10 copies of Rudy…” Torito interrupts him. Torito speaks! Vickie then makes some lame short jokes, Hornswoggle tells Torito that he will always be the bigger man, and then they get into a fight on top of the table and Torito spring boards off the top rope to the outside on 4MB. Great segment.
Rob Van Dam vs. Jack Swagger w/ Zeb Colter: I can dig this RVD/Swagger/Cesaro feud, mostly because I feel the WWE gets caught up in 1 or 2 major feuds and the rest of the card is throwaway matches with even-Steven booking. This is a feud that isn’t a major feud or over a title and it has entertaining components (Heyman vs. Colter, Swagger vs. Cesaro, RVD doing his thing, etc..)
Heyman is on commentary! Heyman and JR is one of my all-time favorite commentary duos. Heyman mentions that on Extreme Rules the match is a Triple Threat ELIMINATION match. That is the first we have heard of that. Swagger goes to the outside and knocks Cesaro down, RVD goes for a moonsault to the outside and lands on his feet then gets a big boot from Swagger. RVD then hits the 5 Star Frog Splash in the ring for the win. *1/2
After the match Cesaro hits RVD with the Neutralizer.
Xavier Woods in the ring wearing his Black Power Rangers shirt with R-Truth in his ring gear.
The Ravishing Russian Lana comes out and does her thing and Rusev makes his way to the ring.
Alexander Rusev w/ Lana vs. R-Truth w/ Xavier Woods: Rusev needs to plowing through the entire lower card of the WWE. The Fandangos, Curtis Axels, Curt Hawkins, Zack Ryder, etc… On a weekly basis until an uppercard talent challenges him and they get into a big feud. Maybe a guy like Sheamus is a good fit for that. Then Rusev can go over, win the IC title and carry it for a long period of time. However, Rusev should not be feuding with any one of those guys in the lower card. It only makes him look like he belongs in the lower card. Yes, he is essentially demolishing R-Truth and Xavier Woods on a weekly basis, but if he is this beastly monster then why can’t he shake loose from these two jobbers?
Xavier Woods gets in the ring and jumps on Rusev’s back. R-Truth gets disqualified. ¼*
Woods and Truth then get the best of Rusev and Rusev retreats. What in the Hell is the point of this? Why are Woods and Truth getting the best of Rusev? Between this and putting Rusev in the 11 on 3 match vs. the Shield where Rusev was dwarfed and looked like nothing special, the WWE is handling Rusev all wrong. The dude appears to have talent, but he is quickly becoming a Curtis Axel type debut. The WWE struck gold with The Shield, but have failed with Fandango, Damien Sandow, Xavier Woods, Curtis Axel, Sin Cara, etc…
Daniel Bryan makes his way to the ring still wearing the neck brace. How was Daniel Bryan cleared to compete on Sunday if he is still wearing a neck brace two days before the match? The “Yes!” chants don’t see as loud and riotous as pre-WrestleMania.
Daniel Bryan starts off by saying that he is no different than anyone in the world. That we stand up for what we believe it. That we fight for what we have. That we take care of our families. With faith, hope, determination, and heart Daniel Bryan is going to walk into Extreme Rules as the champion and walk out. Daniel Bryan then goes all Mick Foley and starts screaming about how Kane put his hands on his wife. Daniel Bryan says this is more than a fight, this is a war! Daniel Bryan then quietly says that by any means necessary the Devil’s favorite demon is going home. And even if he has to go with him, Kane is going straight to Hell.
Kane then appears on the tron and says he likes Hell. And when they arrive there Kane will give Daniel Bryan a tour. Kane then shows Daniel Bryan a video package of the destruction Kane caused Bryan and Brie. Bryan then rips his neck brace off as Kane laughs maniacally.
This storyline is just fine. Daniel Bryan in a “Monster of the Month” feud to start off his reign works for me. It shows the WWE is investing in a long term title reign for Bryan. I am okay with involving Brie. Brie hasn’t taken away from the story. But, can we at least get some call back to Team Hell No. I mean, c’mon. These two held the Tag Titles together forever! This is what I hate about the WWE. They always have the mentality that their fans don’t care or remember what happened 6 months ago. How the heck does a new fan learn these things then by having the commentators talk about the past? Tell the story? Talk about why they should care about this situation? Talk about why they should care about this? Instead these stupid commentators are busy throwing out old school wrestling names so they sound credible, and making stupid jokes, and taking stupid selfies, and tweeting about stupid things. TELL THE STORY! THAT IS YOUR JOB!
Dolph Ziggler comes out and then Magneto Sandow comes out. Yes, Damien Sandow is still wearing the Magneto costume. Cole invites us to join in the conversation of this match using “#Magneto” on Twitter.
Cole starts off by asking “comic book buff” JBL about who Magneto is. This should be good. Let me guess, Hackenschmidt and Lou Thesz trained him back before Magneto’s big match with Karl Gotch? Give me a break. JBL does not read comic books. This reminds me, maybe the WWE should convince CM Punk to come back as a commentator. His commentary was better than these two yahoo’s.
I am hoping that when the WWE launches their “Rivalries” show on the WWE Network they do a whole show on the classic Ziggler vs. Sandow feud from this past year. Complete with the Music City Street Fight, and the Ziggler vs. Magneto match, and all of the other stupid gimmick matches these two have been in. Ziggler wins with the Zig Zag. -*
This is my first negative star rating. It is purely because of JBL. He literally argued for two minutes after the match because Damien Magneto’s cape was covering his face when Ziggler pinned him, because if a super hero’s cape is covering a man’s face it shouldn’t count. First off, Magneto is a villain, not a super hero Mr. Comic Book Buff. Secondly, THAT’S NOT EVEN FUNNY. SHUT UP, JBL!
Big E vs. Titus O’Neil: Titus O’Neil is showing the mean streak he should have been showing during the short lived Prime Time Players Explode feud.
Titus throws Big E over the announce table and beats Big E down on the outside. Titus then throws Big E on top of the table and back in the ring. This was good for two reasons. 1. Titus showed off his strength by throwing the big Big E around. And 2. JBL and Michael Cole’s headsets were damaged for a few minutes and we didn’t have to hear them talk. O’Neil stomps a mud hole in Big E until the referee disqualifies O’Neil. Big E then gets his bearings and clotheslines O’Neil and throws him into the barricade. O’Neil and Big E are just trading a showcase of each other’s vicious power. Big E appears to be losing the IC title this Sunday, but I hope that does not mean he falls down the card. Big E has potential to be a stud in the future.
We get a recap of the Wyatt/Cena feud with a video recap of the creepy kids choir from Raw.
The Shield’s music hits and they are all standing on top of the steps. Reigns and Rollins pound Ambrose’s fists and wish him luck as they depart. Ambrose makes his way to the ring for the main event.
United States Championship Fatal Fourway Match – Dean Ambrose © vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. Curtis Axel vs. Ryback: It is good to see the WWE emphasize and add some focus to the US and IC titles. But, sadly, the WWE has ADHD when it comes to things like this. Remember when the WWE was focusing on their tag team division in 2013? It would be nice to see the IC title become the World Heavyweight Championship of old. Give it to the Del Rio’s, Christians, Swaggers, and Sheamus’.
Cole starts off saying today marks the 348th day of Ambrose’s reign.
Del Rio and Rybaxel corner Ambrose and Ambrose tries to fight all three of them off. This starts off as if it’s a 3 on 1 handicap match until of course Ambrose is thrown out of the ring and the other three start battling it out. Including a 1 on 1 stare down between Rybaxel until Ambrose interrupts. The three challengers trade their signature moves with pinfall attempts. Ambrose breaks up each of the pinfalls as he is playing the underdog fighting for his title. It is refreshing to see Ambrose wrestle in a singles capacity. I wish the WWE would give him more chances to defend his title. Ambrose gives Axel the bounce back Nigel McGuinness lariat for a pin and two count. Del Rio kicks out of the Perfect Plex in the middle of the ring. Del Rio gives Axel the awesome double stomp to his chest for a two count. Del Rio goes for the superkick on Axel, Axel ducks and Ryback hits Del Rio with the meathook clothesline. Del Rio slaps the cross armbreaker on Ryback. Ryback counters by picking up Del Rio and hitting him with the Shellshock. Ambrose slides in and rolls up Axel for the three count. **3/4
The Shield come running down to take out Del Rio and Rybaxel.
This was a decent episode of Smackdown. No stand out matches, but it wasn’t filled with Raw recaps. It at least had pieces of current feuds sewn through the show. And it was nice to see a mid card title treated as something special by getting a main event slot on TV.
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